Serena Z is a 20 year old violinist from Chicago currently studying at Berklee College Of Music in Boston, MA. She is an up and coming singer/songwriter coming into the music scene with her new single “Fine”. Blending the techniques of classical music mixed with strong pop influences, she is working to create a fresh, new type of music that will inspire young violinists and all musicians to embrace all styles and genres of music. “Fine” has the trendy and edgy pop-rock tune that’s vendable for a mainstream appeal with a current sound to her vocals that’s cool for radio play.
The BEST and most unique feature of this song however would have to be her usage of violin in the single. We rarely ever hear pop music that’s infusing classical orchestrated instruments including the violin and I’m not talking about computerized violins that we may hear in a fabrication pop hit but I’m talking about the raw and uncut violin skills that you can tell was classically trained with its sense of professionalism being apparent in the song. I think if Serena continues to blend her Berklee training with a fashion-forward approach then she will become a great hit-maker in the industry.
Listen to “Fine” on Spotify and check out our interview with Serena Z below!
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey guys, I’m Serena Z! I am a 20 year old violinist and singer/songwriter from Chicago! I am currently a junior at Berklee College of Music in Boston studying violin
Can you give us a brief history of your musical career?
I started playing the violin when I was 4 years old. My family is very musical! My mom
plays piano and my dad plays the guitar, so I grew up surrounded by music from the very start. I studied classically for almost 12 years, and was always in an extremely high level, competitive environment. I loved it because it allowed me to be on stage all the time, and study with very highly regarded instructors. I played with countless orchestras, competed nationally with numerous chamber groups, and performed all across the country. Although I was very passionate about that part of my life, I realized that I wanted more. I wanted to be able to study all kinds of music, as I grew up listening to rock, pop, jazz, and pretty much everything else. I made the decision to attend Berklee, and to broaden my musical horizons. Now, I’m playing with many different bands, recording my original music, and am finally the artist that I always wanted to be.
How did you come up with your name? Is there a meaning behind it?
Serena Z came to be pretty recently, actually. My family likes to use Z’s in their names-
their band name is 7Deez, and my dad’s guitar store is Park Avenue Guitarz. (Sending
much love to them for all their support through my journey!) My instagram name has
been “serenazmusic” for a while, and initially it was intended to be like “Serena’s
music”, but with a Z. As time went on, I made the transition to Serena Z, and it just stuck.
Do you write your own music? Can you tell us a bit about your writing style?
I do write all of my own music! I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but got
serious with my songwriting when I was a junior in high school. I write my music not to fit a certain style or genre, but how it naturally comes to me! Some songs have more pop influences, while others are more psychedelic, rock, or funky! I grew up playing with my parent’s disco band, so music of the 70’s will always be held especially close to my heart.
We really love your song "Fine"! Can you tell us a bit about it? Where did the inspiration behind the song come from?
My song “Fine” was actually written years ago. It was about an old highschool
boyfriend I had when we were going through a nasty breakup. When I came to Berklee, I actually rearranged the song entirely for a class, and turned it into more of an upbeat pop song rather than the acoustic version that I had previously written. This song is so special to me because as time went on, it kept changing and more ideas came to me. It has developed so much since I originally wrote it, and really shows my growth as an artist.
Who are your biggest musical influences that helped to shape your career in the music industry?
I grew up listening to so many different kinds of artists, and I think that’s why my
writing style is not specifically in one genre! Growing up I loved The Beatles, David
Bowie, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Donna Summer, Jackson 5, Michael McDonald, and many more. Now, I listen to a little bit of everything. I love EDM! I like to incorporate some electronic influences into some of my songs, as well as all the other genres I listen to! I also have been inspired by Lady Gaga and all of her work, Bruno Mars, and lots of current popular artists. All of the artists I have listened to have shaped me into the musician and songwriter that I am today.
What are three things you’d love your fans to know about you?
- I love cats! I currently have two kitties my family and I adopted from the Chicago
Animal Rescue. They are two fat tabbys named Irving and Lumpy, and they mean the
world to me.
-I love makeup and fashion! I think it’s so amazing that you are able to completely
change your look and freely express yourself whenever you want. I also love vintage
clothing! My mom wore some of the coolest ensembles when she was my age, and I’m
wearing them all now.
-I’ve been on the radio 4 times! The first time I was 12 years old, and had an hour long
program on violin. I can’t wait for more radio time to come!
Any upcoming shows?
I am playing my first show as Serena Z in November! Follow my instagram
@serenazmusic to keep up with upcoming shows and releases!
For someone who hasn’t seen you live yet, how would you describe your performance?
I have so much fun at every show I play! You can expect to see some crazy electric
violins with lots of cool pedals and effects. For me, if it’s not fun, why do it? All the
music I write I love to perform, and I honestly just love connecting with as many people as I can at my shows.
What’s next for Serena Z?
I have another song that will be released in the next couple months, so keep an eye
out for that! In the meantime, I’ll be writing and recording more music and playing at as many venues as possible in both Boston and Chicago. I’d love for you to come see me, so please keep up with my social media so you can stay updated! xoxo
Connect with Serena Z on social media: